(Game played Dec. 10) WILLIAMSPORT — Amanda-Clearcreek’s defense clamped down on host Westfall in the fourth quarter to propel the Aces to their first win of the season by a 64-43 score.
“We’re a man-to-man program. I think we just preached to them about dialing it in and playing aggressive man-to-man defense,” coach Jamie Justus said. “We went to our switching defense, we thought that would be more of an advantage to us.
“We started switching all screens, our closeouts improved, our boxing out and our intensity picked up once we got going there in the fourth quarter.”
After the Mustangs (2-2) opened the scoring in the fourth hitting one of two free throws, the Aces (1-3) scored the next 13 points and only allowed their hosts one more free throw before the game ended.
The Aces had a 38-25 rebounding edge in the game, including 12 offensive.
“I think the game turned on the offensive glass,” Westfall coach Christian Meister said. “I think they were just hungrier than us tonight.
“We gave up (12) offensive rebounds and all of those were pretty much points. And it wasn’t their big guys, it was their guards, it was guys that look just like our guys — they just wanted the basketball more than we did.”
The night started with the Aces scoring the game’s first six points on the way to a 20-7 lead after the first period.
The Mustangs used their bench to provide a few sparks in the second period to battle back and even grab a brief 27-25 advantage before the Aces took a 29-27 lead at halftime.
“I put a freshman in there (Casey Cline) who hit a step-back three, he made a layup. I put Ashton Nunemaker in who, at the beginning of the year, we told him he was a varsity/JV splitter, he got put on JV, never complained and just came in put his head down and went to work,” Meister said. “That second unit is hungry to be playing basketball and they’re hungry for a chance to be playing in front of their friends and their school.”
Meister wants the effort from the subs to be a reminder to the whole team about living up to the team motto of toughness at all time.
“I don’t want to make it seem like the world is crashing down because it’s a high school basketball game and you lost. But, also, our kids have to know that just because you started game one doesn’t mean you’re going to be starting game 5. Our kids have to be willing to give consistent effort every day,” he said.
AC senior Jeff Bolin had a game-high 18 points, with six coming in the fourth to help the Aces seal the win.
“He’s worked his tail off for us — getting stronger in the weight room, he played football, he attacks the hole now, he creates a lot of things with the dribble, handles the ball very well and spreads the floor very well for us,” Justus said. “When he knocks down his outside shot, that opens up his driving lane.”
AC’s Jayse Miller came through with a big night putting down 14 points while grabbing a dozen rebounds. Peyton Madison scored 12 points and Jesse Connell had eight rebounds to go with his 11 points.
Luke Blackburn led the Mustangs with 12 points and was the team’s leading rebounder with seven.
- Amanda-Clearcreek was a 40-38 winner in the JV game behind 16 points from Rhyne. Blaec Bugher led the Mustangs with 14.
Amanda-Clearcreek 64, Westfall 43
Amanda-Clearcreek — Madison 6-0-12, Bolin 7-2-18, Pugh 1-0-2, Miller 6-0-14, Connell 4-3-11, Stevens 3-1-7. Three-point goals — Bolin (2), Miller (2). Total — 27-53 6-8 64.
Westfall — Wyman 2-0-5, Lemaster 3-1-9, Spohn 1-0-2, Weiss 2-0-4, Cline 2-0-5, Shipley 3-0-6, Blackburn 5-2-12. Three-point goals — Wyman, Lemaster (2), Cline. Total — 18-51 3-7 43.
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
Amanda-Clearcreek 20 9 16 19 64
Westfall 7 20 14 2 43